Drugged Drinking Water

By Potera, Carol | Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2000 | Go to article overview

Drugged Drinking Water


Potera, Carol, Environmental Health Perspectives


Drugs and personal care products that are excreted from or washed off the body naturally end up in the sewage that flows into sewer systems and septic tanks, but where do they go from there? Scientists are beginning to monitor the extent of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in the aquatic environment and their consequences. What they're finding is that, through leaching from septic tanks and escaping intact through sewage treatment processes, some of these substances are ending up back in the drinking water.

Germany has been at the forefront of PPCP monitoring. Studies conducted there during the past 10 years confirmed the presence of PPCPs in treated and untreated sewage effluent, surface water, groundwater, and drinking water. Most commonly found were anti-inflammatory and pain-killing drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anticonvulsants, and sex hormones from oral contraceptives. Samples from 40 German rivers and streams turned up residues of 31 different PPCPs, according to a report presented at the March 2000 American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, California, by Thomas Ternes, a chemist at the Institute for Water Research and Water Technology in Wiesbaden.

Researchers worldwide have discovered more than 60 different PPCPs in water sources, according to Christian Daughton, chief of the Environmental Chemistry Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Sciences Division in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to the drugs noted above, the list includes antineoplastics, beta-blockers, bronchodilators, lipid regulators, hypnotics, antibiotics, antiseptics, X-ray contrast agents, sunscreen agents, caffeine, and fragrances such as synthetic musks. Most PPCPs are detected at concentrations ranging from parts per trillion to parts per billion, and originate in treated and untreated sewage, says Daughton, who coauthored an article on PPCPs in the December 1999 issue of EHP Supplements.

North American researchers are just beginning to look at the issue of PPCPs. Studies presented at the June 2000 Emerging Issues Conference sponsored by the National Ground Water Association, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, indicate that the problem exists here, too. For example, environmental scientist Chris Metcalfe of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, detected the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin, bezafibrate (a cholesterol regulator), and carbamazepine (an anticonvulsant) in 10 pre-and post-treatment samples from sewage treatment plants in eastern Canada. The sewage treatment process in place removed some drugs that were easily biodegradable or more amenable to removal by activated charcoal, degradative microbes, or sand filtration, but others were resistant to degradation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Drugged Drinking Water
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.